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Napoleon despised the small princes and grand semi-sovereign nobles (who held duchies and the like) who were content to retain their lands while he dissolved their sovereign territories and merged them into nations run by his brothers and relatives, never for their individual sovereignity to be returned even when he fell from power.

The centuries old grandeur of Venice was snuffed out at a stroke and that was the least of it.

Some survived but few. Napoleon, on his escape from Elba, met the prince of Monaco coming in the other direction and they exchanged greetings. Napoleon, doubtless, gained vital information about the road ahead and he marched unopposed towards Paris with the smallest of armies.

A generation of politicians, hoping for a consultancy, directorship or placement in a woke sinecure or two, after retirement or loss of office, have emulated these petty princes.

They robbed their own grandchildren of the means to make their own way in the world. None can make capital without enslavement to one form of employer or another. With that knowledge the business world squeezes them tighter and tighter and becomes more oligarchical.

All my adult life I have considered the employer-employee relationship not the natural order of things, not provided for in natural law.

I have an early biography of no less an authority than Rupert Murdoch, where he is recorded as saying he could not see why anyone would want to be an employee. I wholeheartedly agreed with him at the time although I was a successful employee, fairly well paid and have never been made redundant.

Since, he has been reported as wanting to see the nation's employees back at work in offices after the pandemic. (So effectively more under employers' control). He is allowed to say things in his own interest but I am not one who agrees with his change of position.

Neither, if you follow Boris' bons mots and f*k business positioning, did he necessarily. Much as civil servants are useless at managing and understanding business, nearly all business leaders are notoriously unimaginative at politics and bring up stupid solutions. Silvio Berlusconi and Donald Trump have been exceptions.

Indeed, from reading Dickens and others it would seem that having capital has been for a long time the way out of having to be in the near-enslaving relationship of being an employee perpetually. I believe this so much that for ages I have advocated capital being taxed at a lower rate than income, or even not at all, so that people can see a natural progression away from being an employee. The taxation differential offers them an incentive to set capital acquisition as a life goal. When many more people have capital, natural and talented challengers to business oligarchies will arise, including to media dynasties, and the economy will be more vibrant and internationally competitive.

Instead of progressive social revolution, war, handing human relations over to AI and so on, as an alternative disruptor we need to change how we view contracts.